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EEOC proposes federal agency employment targets for the disabled


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published a notice of proposed rulemaking Tuesday that reaffirms the government's commitment to achieve a 12% representation employment rate for individuals with disabilities, and a 2% representation rate for individuals with “targeted/severe” disabilities for its employees.

The proposed rule, which will be officially published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, does not affect private employers, the EEOC said. Members of the public have until April 25 to comment on the proposal.

In addition to setting the numerical goals, and requiring enhanced efforts to hire individuals with disabilities, the proposed rule would require agencies to provide “personal assistance services” to employees who, because of their disability, require help with services such as eating and using the restroom while at work, the agency said.

Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires federal agencies to create affirmative action plans for the employment of people with disabilities and to submit those plans to the EEOC, the agency said.

“Although federal agencies have improved their efforts to hire and retain individuals with disabilities, they remain underrepresented in the federal workforce,” says the EEOC in a background information on the rulemaking.

“The federal government has a special responsibility to lead by example in serving as a model employer for people with disabilities in the workforce,” said EEOC Chair Jenny Yang in the statement. “This proposal offers concrete steps and accountability mechanisms to promote employment and advancement opportunities for people with disabilities, including individuals with targeted or severe disabilities.”

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor finalized a proposed rule under which federal contractors and subcontractors would be required to set a hiring goal of having 7% of their workforce in each job group be people with disabilities.

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